Screeching Weasel - Some Freaks Of Atavism (Cover Artwork)

Screeching Weasel

Some Freaks Of Atavism (2020)

Monona records

It has been reported previously that Screeching Weasel have been working on new material for a potential 2020 release. With less than one-week warning, Ben Weasel went live on Facebook to report that the new album thought to still being recorded would be released digitally on March 24. This news was extremely well-received by punk fans worldwide who are certainly looking for good news during this time of uncertainty. This is certainly a unique approach for a band of their stature. Ben Weasel and his band comprising of this most recent live lineup has churned out a rather enjoyable collection of tracks to please fans both old and new.

The album’s opener “She Ain’t Your Baby” immediately showcases Ben’s signature sneer. This steady straight forward rocker has all the elements of classic Weasel down to the catchy backup vocals. The rest of the album can be broken down by the variety of tempos and rhythms throughout that are synonymous with everything Screeching Weasel. “Back Of Your Head” follows with the classic guitar leads which have defined the band for many years. Tracks like “To Hell With You” takes the listener back to the BoogadaX3 era, both lyrically and pace. Hints of Anthem For A New Tomorrow are present in “Settle In” which would fit on any 90s Lookout Records album. This very accessible standout track could have easily been a radio hit in the 90s. Ben takes a darker approach on various tracks as well. “God Help Us” boasts a very metallic intro complete with palm muting over the verse. The song eventually kicks into standard Weasel gear. The verse is reminiscent of 80s Ramones with soaring vocals over a sharp guitar lead. “Crying Shame” is a dark steady rocker as well. “Dead By Dawn” is one of the album’s heaviest and most ambitious tracks. “Turn It Around” is easily the most fun track on the album and comes through in the performance. This new wave rocker features backing vocals by the legendary Josie Cotton, who Weasel has previously covered on How To Make Enemies and Irritate People. Finally, the band tackles classic Americana on tracks such as “Losing My Mind” and “Problematic.” The former track hints at the Riverdales approach to the 50s golden era of Rock N Roll, with a solid guitar solo in the bridge. “Problematic” has a bouncier feel that is accompanied by strategically placed keys in the verses.

Screeching Weasel has one of the most storied careers in the history of punk rock. The time and effort spent on Some Freaks Of Atavism definitely has resulted in the most cohesive full length effort from this band in many years. This album has something for fans of all bands throughout Ben Weasel’s illustrious career. This might just be the light you are looking for in these dark times.